Last night’s knitting group had my pendulum swinging wildly. The location was not on my GPS, so it took me forty-five minutes of searching an area of such high-density commerce, I had to stop twice to ask where the place was. Bad It was in front of me. Good I’d baked brownies before breakfast and placed them in baggies and a nice cloth-covered basket (like Little Red Riding Hood) for my knitting friends. Good But the moment I brought them out I was chastised for threatening to put the breaks on Panera Bread ever letting us come back because I brought food in. (Forgive me, but I’ve seen MacDonald’s bags on tables in Panera Bread). Bad But at some point in the evening, I was allowed to bring them out and share them. Good Everyone loved them. Good, again
My mentor was there. Very good She fixed my first problem and got me on track again. Good But once I started to knit, I flipped the row the wrong way on the circular needles and sent 32 tiny stitches flying. Extremely bad Everyone noticed. Good or Bad, I’m not sure I think it was a right of passage. Somewhere in the distance I heard stories about how it took a year for a few of these women to knit their first pair of socks. “There’s no crying in knitting,” or was it “There IS crying in knitting”? was a refrain in the conversation. “Don’t move,” someone said. The knitting wizard, the fixer of all knitting problems, was headed to my chair to gently pry my clenched fists off my needles and stem the bleeding. She said, “Breathe in. Breathe out.” I felt like my feet were on fire. “The Fixer,” (that’s what they were calling her) must have x-ray vision or something. There’s nothing she can’t fix. She has the calm of Marcus Welby, MD. When she handed me back my knitting it was as if nothing had happened. Extremely Good At least, nothing to the knitting. I was a wreck. There’s only 25 minutes left of group, and I’m mentally and emotionally exhausted, having spent another two hours with no progress on these socks. Bad
I’m a fairly dizzy person to begin with. My father called me a “dizzy broad.” My mother called me “Band-aid Bessie.” My husband calls me “Sweet Baby,” I think because he feels sorry for me when I screw up. I’m forgetful and distracted now. I’m thinking a lot of this is just getting old, and I’m wondering: Have I crossed the threshold into the Land of Never Being Able to Make Socks? Can I endure a one-year learning curve of sock knitting? Do I have the patience? Do I have the intellect?
Don’t laugh. There is an intellect to knitting. There’s nomenclature and hand-eye coordination required. There’s also something about seeing the big AND little picture at the same time… seeing clearly each row and spotting dropped stitches before it’s too late. But most of all, there’s a requirement of tenacity and dedication to the process, and if you waver, even slightly, you can send the whole event crashing and burning, never to be recovered.
I got lucky last night. I was surrounded by kindred spirits who have walked in my shoes. These are very nice people who recognized this flash point in my sock-knitting life, and they were there for me…and I am grateful, once again. THE BEST